- Tell us a bit about your raving career? What clubs, and raves were you a regular at?
I started in 1988 and went to the original Shoom (started by Danny and Jo Rampling after the famed visit to Ibiza with Andrew Weatherall et al that brought acid house back to the UK). I was studying/working in London so it was mainly things like Lost, Haywire Sessions (Weatherall), Turnmills, The Cross, The End, Mass, Fabric, Club 414 plus great all nighters at Brixton Academy (gigs by Underworld, Prodigy, Leftfield, Chemical Brothers, Orbital), Megadog, Megatripolis, WhirlYGig, Return to the Source and illegal raves at large squats. I also lovedTribal Gatherings.
- What was the eureka moment in deciding that you were going to put on a family rave?
I was looking at old Facebook posts the other day and it turns out I was talking about doing it before I even left my previous career – back in 2012! It was my experience of taking care of my kids that did it – parent and baby groups were nice but dull, children’s discos had terrible music and yet proper festivals had something for us all to enjoy. I was so frustrated with not finding the thing I wanted to take my family to I created it myself.
- What do your children think of it? Are they mini promoters in the making?
They love it – and their involvement changes all the time as they grow up (they are now 6 and 7). Initially they just liked to party – and indeed still do – but increasingly they like to pop on a hi vis and hand out flyers or help out with transfer tattoos.
- Tell us about your first ever event?
It was July 2013 and held on the hottest day of the year – so not the greatest day to be running an indoor rave. However, about 300 people turned up and went mad for it. It was like fulfilling a need they didn’t know they had. Bearing in mind we had no idea what we were doing (no event or promotional background) we still invited lots of press along and it resulted in ‘rave’ reviews in Time Out and a double page spread in the Evening Standard. It was actually held in a large pub at the end of my road and we filled it with rugs and toys from my house and staffed with my mates. One of them was up till 4am hand painting the backdrop for me. I paid them in beer.
- How do venues react when you tell them you want to put on a rave for kids?
Increasingly they approach us because we are becoming well known. Before though I had to phone, email and even door step them with review and newspaper articles to show them I knew what I was doing. I think the important point though is that it is a FAMILY rave – and for families with young children at that. It is meant to entertain across the generations and bond them together on the dancefloor.
- BFLF have been working with Camp Bestival for a while, and you’re about to embark on a BFLF x Camp Bestival warm up tour – how did that collaboration come about?
Rob Da Bank is friends with Joe Muggs the music journalist who is part of the BFLF family. Joe put us in contact and it’s grown from there. We now have a 3 day residency at the festival itself and the warm up tour has now expanded to cover 18 dates and venues across Southern and Eastern England.
- Big Fish Little Fish events arnt just in the UK, you’ve got raves in Australia, you couldn’t get much further away from here. Are there any plans to expand BFLF to other countries?
Yes – indeed we already played in Athens, Greece in 2017. Watch this space.
- Most of the events that you guys put on sell out, and there is other family rave type events popping up all the time on FB. Why do you think it’s becoming so popular?
I created the family rave because there was nothing else like it – a family event that is about both adults and children enjoying themselves, in the same space and it all coming together on the dancefloor. Feedback from our audience is that is often the ONLY thing they do as a family that they all genuinely enjoy. It is also clear they like the ‘authentic/credible’ nature of the event. We are old ravers with families – as are they.
- You’ve held your raves in all types of different venues, from big clubs like Scala, to the more unusual such as the V & A museum, Ally Pally, and even an enchanted forest. How do you come up with them, and what would be your ideal venue if you could hold an event anywhere?
- Just one of the highlights of your raves is your DJ lineup, what sort of feedback do you get from them?
- If you could book your dream headliner who would it be?
- And lastly what plans do you have for Big Fish Little Fish for 2018?
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